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medfreeoneday: withdrawal symptoms after Prozac bridge from paroxetine?


medfreeoneday

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medfreeoneday

Hi everyone

 

I was on Paxil 20mg for 19 years- most of which time it worked well (except for some weight gain and bloating). While studying at grad school I started taking Adderall for four years until it developed until a problem and managed to come off it inn July 2017. Went through the PAWs from that which lasted for a long time (and is maybe still ongoing). However, since I came off the Adderall, the Paxil appeared to have stopped working (either than or the PAWs from the Adderall was overriding its effects). So 5 months ago I decided to do the Prozac bridge to see if Prozac would work for me. I did a straight switch to Prozac 20 mg without any tapering and felt some withdrawals and also felt weird most likely from starting on the Prozac as well. While taking Prozac I have been up and down, with good weeks and bad. However, in the last two weeks I have had what seem suspiciously like the 'waves' I hear about on this site. I have felt the worst I have ever felt in my life and it seems very much like SSRI withdrawal to me (I've experienced withdrawals from Paxil several times before when I either ran out or tried to quit). This time symptoms include a sense of impending doom, nausea, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to stress, depression. It seems unusual to be suddenly hit with withdrawal symptoms 5 months after giving up Paxil and while still taking Prozac right? So my question is- is this some delayed withdrawal to the Paxil I stopped taking 5 months ago or is it some adverse reaction to the Prozac (even though I have had periods of feeling fine on it).

 

I am leaning towards to the possibility of coming off the Prozac and reinstating the Paxil. Even though I was feeling pretty depressed when I was on Paxil last I didn't feel like this now where I basically feel like I'm losing my mind. Any recommendations on what I should do?

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to medfreeoneday: withdrawal symptoms during Prozac bridge from previous SSRI?
medfreeoneday

Hi everyone

 

I started taking Paxil (20mg) around year 2000 and have pretty much been taking It until end of January this year (2019). For most of the time it worked pretty well- reducing depressive symptoms and my social anxiety. However, 6 years ago, while at grad school I was diagnosed with ADHD and started taking Adderall every day. This worked initially but then I started to overuse it and abuse it. So in July 2017 decided to go cold turkey on the Adderall but carried on with the Paxil. Since then either the Paxil has stopped working or the withdrawal symptoms from the Adderall cancelled out the benefits of the Paxil or both as I suffered from depressive symptoms and anhedonia for a year and a half. Then in January 2019 I decided to switch to Prozac (20mg) as I thought since the Paxil wasn't working any more I might as well try another medication and since Prozac was supposed to be the easiest to withdraw from I chose that. I did a straight switch- stopping my 20mg tablet of Paxil one day and starting on the Prozac 20 mg capsules the following day. For the first month I felt weird as one would expect when switching between SSRIs and then started to feel a bit better though not great (although my libido went down and I felt pretty flat- has anyone had low libido with one SSRI and not with another?). However, in the last month I have started to feel very very bad. In fact the worst I've felt in my life- a feeling of overall dread/impending doom, major depression, nausea, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, anxiety, cognitive problems. This definitely doesn't feel like the withdrawal from Adderall. In fact this all sounds suspiciously like a 'wave' coming from SSRI withdrawal (I have had some experience of this before due to temporarily running out of Paxil at various points in the past).

 

 I have a number of questions for you guys- any ideas what is happening?

 

1.Is it possible to have withdrawal symptoms from the Paxil kick in suddenly 5 months after stopping taking it and even though I am still taking another SSRI (Prozac)?

2. Alternatively am I feeling so bad because of serotonin syndrome? As in I had some adverse reaction to the Prozac?

3. Could it be something else? (I completely cut out caffeine a month ago after being a relatively heavy user- might that have triggered this reaction?)

 

What should I do? Should I reinstate the Paxil? If so at what dose?

Alternatively should I try to ride it out or up the dose of the Prozac?

Should I just taper off the Prozac as well?

Any other suggestions?

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to medfreeoneday: 19 years Paxil switched to Prozac 5 months ago
  • Administrator

Welcome, medfree.

 

Yes, you can still get withdrawal symptoms from the first drug even if you have substituted another.

 

Are these symptoms occurring in any daily pattern? What time do you take Prozac? Do you feel better or worse after you take Prozac every day? Are you taking any other drugs?

 

Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms. You can post them in this topic with a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right. This will help us figure out if these symptoms are an adverse reaction.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Altostrata changed the title to medfreeoneday: withdrawal symptoms after Prozac bridge from paroxetine?
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi medfree and welcome from me too,

 

This is an example of what Alto is needing:

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

So close to the end!!!

🏁

Current from 16 October 2021:  Pristiq 0.005mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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  • 1 year later...
  • Moderator

How are you doing medfreeoneday ?

2006 : 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam

2008 : cold turkey of both

2010 : 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam

2014-June2017 : Switch from Bromazepam to Prazepam, taper to 0.

2018 to August 2019 : Paxil 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22 Aug 2019 updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg)

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paxil. 

April 2020 : Paxil 10mg to Prozac 7mg bridge. Details topic/21457-

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

 

Current medication :

* 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

* Prozac : 6.8 mg (15 Sept 2021)/ 6.88mg (14 Aug 2021)/ 6.92mg (23 Jun 2021)

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  • 1 month later...
  • Administrator

@medfreeoneday, how are you doing?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 9 months later...
medfreeoneday

Hi there

 

So an update from me. After my dreadful experience in June 2019 as described above I was prescribed Effexor (150mg) and have been on it ever since. After around two weeks of taking it, the Effexor started to work and I managed to feel better with both the anxiety and depression declining substantially.  Fast forward two years and, although I am doing well, I am starting to get fed up with the negative side effects of Effexor. These include weight gain, fatigue, low libido, ED and RBD (i.e. thrashing around sometimes violently in my sleep). So I have decided to do a very slow taper. Since December last year I have been slowly tapering very slowly using a digital scale. I am now at 93mg (having started on 150mg) and plan to keep going down by 10% each month for the next couple of years.


What do you all think of this strategy? Do you think it would be possible to taper faster? I really don't want to be on Effexor (or any other antidepressant) for another two years but I also really really don't want to return to the hell I experienced before.

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Welcome back, It's nice to see you again.

 

That sounds like a good plan for getting off of the effexor. I wouldn't go any faster than that, maybe even slow down or throw in some longer holds from time to time. Your body will let you know when. It can seem like it takes for ever to get off of these drugs, but we have proved time and again that it is faster to go slowly.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • 1 month later...
medfreeoneday

Thanks Brass monkey- I noticed that you do 2.5% drops each week rather than the 10% in one go. Have you found that to be more successful at reducing withdrawals? I dropped 10% last month and started to feel weird after a week or so.

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Reducing 2.5% a week is the basis for the Brassmonkey Slide method. It is 2.5% a week for four week and then an additional two week hold. This will give a 10% reduction every 6 weeks. We are having wonderful success with it. Many of our members have adopted it because of the reduced symptom load.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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